AS SEEN AT THE FEST: DAY FOUR!

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Tommy Lau

SF Sketchfest spent a musical Sunday afternoon with the Animaniacs. Songwriter and composer Randy Rogel attended with stars and voice actors Rob Paulsen, Tress MacNeille and Jess Harnell, who were, impossibly, more animated than their cartoon counterparts. The crowd was treated to a breathtaking variety of songs ranging from the meaning of time to the complete (musically-abridged) works of William Shakespeare, to the Emmy Award-winning Animaniacs version of “The First Noel.” During the audience Q&A, the stars shared the stories behind the successful auditions that got them on the show, including Harnell’s amazingly distinctive Beatles impressions (including an impression of Ringo Starr that eventually helped him create the voice of Wakko) and the now-famous “Yakko’s World” song, created by Rogel to help him land his role. The show closed, fittingly, on a crowd sing-a-long to the Animaniacs theme song that brought everyone out of their seat! A special meet & great after the show treated superfans to photos and autographs, and treated the cast to anecdotes from the rooms they reached through the TV. Said one father and daughter, “Animaniacs was something we could always share.”

After appearing on five different shows Friday and Saturday, Emo Philips took the Eureka Stage for a night of standup Sunday evening. He treated the packed house to material he suggested he wouldn’t attempt for audiences anywhere but San Francisco. The master performer threw out his ideas for wildly inappropriate greeting cards and shared stories of growing up in a family of Chicago PD members (“It’s like growing up in the mob except you can’t go to the cops.”) He then screened his silent short “The Can Man” while providing his own accompaniment on recorder.

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Tommy Lau

SF Sketchfest turned into a lovefest at the Tribute to Tom Scharpling & Jon Wurster, co-presented by Noise Pop. The Theme Weavers LLC donned tuxedos and bowties to perform their original theme for The Best Show. Moderator Jon Daly (“Kroll Show”) got Bad Company’d by John Darnielle and Bob Mould during his introduction to Scharpling & Wurster, two of his heroes. The evening got underway quickly diving into the roots of Scharpling & Wurster’s friendship. Musical interludes included Darnielle’s crowd-pleasing “Thank You Mario, But Our Princess Is In Another Castle,” and Mould rocked the Marines’ with “Hoover Dam.” The dedicated FOTs in the audience provided for an in-joke Q&A, where the audience ate up details about the creation of Philly Boy Roy and other Best Show favorites. Jon Daly asked the question on everyone’s mind: “Do you guys hang out?” They responded: “We do, we really do,” and shared that they sent each other frequent postcards, and that they’ve enjoyed a long relationship with no bumps. Daly confessed he was jealous: “It’s like a Seth Rogen movie. It’s a bromance.” When the raucous night relunctantly drew to a close, the crowd leapt to its feet for a standing ovation, and backstage hugs were abundant.

For more photos and daily updates from the fest, check out our Facebook page and Instagram account!

Thanks to contributers Nadee Gunasena, Jeff Lang and Morgan Davis.

AS SEEN AT THE FEST: DAY THREE!

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Fans of critically acclaimed mid 90’s sitcoms were in for a treat on Saturday, January 24th, as half of the original cast of “NewsRadio” reunited to celebrate the 20th anniversary of the show. Dave Foley, Andy Dick, Khandi Alexander and Stephen Root were on hand to share stories from the set and answer questions from the rapt audience. Moderated by writer/producer Joe Furey, the fivesome reminisced about auditioning for the show, battling with the network over creative control, partying with the band Anthrax, and countless other on-set shenanigans. They dished about their favorite episodes and guest stars (psst! it was Adam West), and which co-stars they had crushes on. Many of their fondest recollections from the show involved the late, great Phil Hartman, and they lovingly paid tribute to him on several occasions. All the actors were in hilariously fine form, and it was evident to all that they all treasured their time working together on their brilliantly irreverent show.

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Saturday evening audiences were treated to a very special live anniversary show of “Dr. Katz, Professional Therapist,” celebrating the 20th anniversary of its first episode this May. With Tom Snyder at the keys, and Dr. Katz ready with a notebook, a “couch” and a box of tissues, he chatted with “son” Jon Benjamin, and helped patients Ron Funches, Pete Holmes, Morgan Murphy and Emo Philips. Morgan Murphy took the hot seat, revealing: “I’m single,” and Dr. Katz gave her sound advice: “Before you love somebody else, you need to love yourself.” He paused. “Can you do that for a moment?”

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Ameen Belbahri

After being soundly nurtured by Dr. Katz and the Marines Memorial audience, Morgan Murphy hopped over to North Beach to join guests Derrick Brown, Jon Daly, John Darnielle and Emo Philips for a soldout Invite Them Up with Eugene Mirman & Bobby Tisdale.

Thanks to “As Seen at the Fest” contributors Pete Merriman and Morgan Davis.

AS SEEN AT THE FEST: DAY TWO!

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Jakub Mosur


The second night of SF Sketchfest 2015 boasted many (23!) gut busting lineups, not the least of which was two sold out shows featuring Jenny Slate & Friends at the Brava Theater. Her Big Terrific co-star Max Silvestri spoke of his harrowing flight out from New York and the importance of having both of your two front teeth, while Ron Funches (“Undateable”) could barely keep himself from cracking up. Fans looking for extended riffs from Slate on the brilliance of Space Jam and Michael Jordan surely all went home happy.

For the first SF Sketchfest show at Doc’s Lab, Ric Barbera (“I Hate My 30’s!”) joined Brice Beckham (“Mr. Belvedere”) and David Fickas (“Burn Notice”) during I Made You A Mixtape for a few Weezer parodies before launching into an epic acoustic version of The Blue Album classic, “Surf Wax America.” Other highlights included videos from Liam Sullivan (Kelly’s “Shoes”) as Bob Dulap and a few songs from Eli Braden (“Jimmy Kimmel Live”).

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Jakub Mosur

StarTalk Live with Bill Nye the Science Guy and Eugene Mirman took place at the beautifully renovated Nourse. The bow-tied science guy was joined by guests Dr. Scott Hubbard, NASA’s first Mars Program Director, and Director of the Solar System Research Virtual Institute at Ames (SSERVI) Dr. Yvonne Pendleton for an exploration of the solar system as our human destination. Mirman’s fellow “Bob’s Burgers” cast member Jon Benjamin (“Archer,” “Dr. Katz, Professional Therapist”) joined the conversation as the surprise star.

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Ameen Belbahri

Jon Benjamin then headed to North Beach for his Cobb’s show: Night of Not Interested In Hosting This Show. He took this literally, apologizing to the audience for the amount they paid for what he deemed would be a lackluster performance. With help from Leo Allen (“Conan O’Brien”), the two proceeded to spend the next ten minutes handing out $3 to everyone in the audience. This was promptly followed up by Benjamin explaining that bit was worth at least a dollar which led to him and Allen heading back out into the audience to get a dollar back from each crowd member. Eugene Mirman (“Bob’s Burgers”) and Janine Brito (“Totally Biased with W. Kamau Bell”) and music from John Roderick (The Long Winters) with Jason Finn (The Presidents of the United States of America) rounded out the Cobb’s set.

Check out more photos from the first Saturday of SF Sketchfest on Facebook photo album, or on Instagram: @sf_sketchfest.

Thanks to “As Seen at the Fest” contributors Pete Merriman, Morgan Davis and Jeff Lang.

AS SEEN AT THE FEST: DAY ONE!

The Opening Night of SF Sketchfest 2015 kicked off with two big shows.

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Jakub Mosur

At the Marines Memorial, w00tstock Founders Night, treated audiences to almost four hours of geeky good times. Paul & Storm serenaded the crowd, moving an audience member to toss pink panties onto the stage within moments of the first strums. Rebecca Watson presented a slideshow on how she’s learned to handle internet trolls. Wil Wheaton told a story about how he tried to be a hero but ended up scaring a woman in a Trader Joe’s parking lot. Adam Savage mentioned how last year during Sketchfest was the first time his twin sons watched his act. They perched in the wings and he absentmindedly talked about penises quite a bit, which embarrassed them. He mentioned they were there again for Opening Night, which influenced his decision to choose juggling as a safer subject. Everyone took the stage for the final sing-along (Adam Savage, Wil Wheaton, John Roderick, Paul and Storm, Rebecca Watson and Jason Finn), which devolved into free riffing that was one of the funniest, silliest half-hours San Francisco audiences have been treated to since last year’s w00tstock.

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Dan Dion

At Cobb’s, Night Train with Wyatt Cenac presented cream of the crop comedians Natasha Muse, Maronzio Vance, Phoebe Robinson and Cameron Esposito. Their sets tackled gender, race, romance, sleep lurkers, periods, and pubic hair.

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Dan Dion

Thanks to “As Seen at the Fest” contributors Jeff Lang and Morgan Davis.